Our organisation Life Without Barriers, LWB, joined Waltja at the Ross River Campground for the 2016 Aged and Disability Festival week-long event. LWB staff from Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales attended the festival as volunteers to support the Waltja team and to ensure all participants had a wonderful experience. Indigenous people LWB supports in Alice Springs were also invited and came with our local Disability Team. They really enjoyed the opportunity to camp out under the stars, while others travelled out to attend the festival during the day.

Beau Thornton, LWBs Operations Manager in Alice Springs, said “spending time with family, seeing the different communities and being part of community life were the real highlights for the young and older people we support. It is very important for us to find a way to continue these connections so their family and community can continue to be part of their lives.”

Family reunions were one of many highlights generated by the festival and as some young people continue to say, “They are our Aunties and Uncles!”.

Taking part in an event which brought together nearly 200 people from the remotest parts of Central Australia and over 40 of our clients so they could celebrate, yarn, be pampered, and reconnect with families and friends, has been an unforgettable experience for the LWB team.

We continue to share stories of what was leaned which included the great pride Aboriginal women and men have in their heritage and culture. We saw this through activities like the amazing artworks created during the week and in witnessing people reconnecting with family and seeing their pleasure in being together. We saw first hand the importance of respect, courage, strong relationships and also in sitting together, listening, yarning, sharing, singing and dancing.

Our humblest thanks to Waltja for inviting us to be a participating partner. It was the best experience ever!

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